Free Dining Announcement

Free Dining is back!! This offer is very LIMITED so contact us today! We are busy updating our current clients reservations and then will take new requests!

Request your quote before this deal is gone!

Book Through July 8, 2016 for travel:
August 23 through October 1, 2016
November 15 through November 21, 2016
November 26 through November 28, 2016
December 10 through December 21, 2016

Offer excludes the following room types: 3-bedroom villas, campsites, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – Little Mermaid Standard Rooms and Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows.

Around the World in 8 Hours


Selecting my favorite Disney park is difficult because there are things I love at each of them. I worked at Animal Kingdom so it's special to me; Hollywood Studios has my favorite thrill rides; and I don't feel like I've truly arrived at Disney World until I see Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom. But when it comes to fun for the adults, Epcot is the clear winner!



Food
First and foremost, Epcot had the best options for food. You have the option of international cuisine, from Canadian poutine to Japanese hibachi. Disney strives to give an authentic experience, even importing water from Naples to make sure the pizza tastes the way it would if you went to Italy. You also have the opportunity to dine with Mickey and friends at Garden Grill or enjoy an underwater view at Coral Reef, if that's more your speed. My mouth is watering just talking about it.

Atmosphere
Each of the parks has subtle differences in atmosphere.  Epcot is all about discovery.  As you walk around Epcot, the focus is more on exploring the environment and trying new things. One of my favorite things about the World Showcase is each pavilion employs individuals from the host country.  I love to ask them about their experiences and learn about them and their culture.  For example, the Morocco pavilion's stunning tile work includes purposeful mistakes because their religious believes that nothing man-made should be perfect.  While not as educational as the park once was, opportunities to learn and expand your horizons still abound at Epcot.

Festivals
Epcot is home to two of my favorite events at Walt Disney World:

The Flower and Garden Festival in the Spring gives guests a chance to learn about horticulture from around the world, talk to experts about various gardening techniques, and more.  Also, visually stunning floral arrangements can be found throughout the park, from character topiaries to flowers planted in the shape of a giant hidden Mickey.

The International Food and Wine Festival plays host to culinary adventures each fall. Throughout the park, kiosks offer bite-sized tastes of favorite foods and drinks from over twenty regions of the world, like escargot from France, lamb from Australia, even haggis from Scotland (if you're feeling really adventurous).  My husband and I like to share items so we get to taste more of the offerings from each location.  The Food and Wine Festival also offers seminars on different, food and beverage related topics like how chocolate is made or the appropriate win pairings for different entrees.  What a tasty way to learn!

Drinking Around the World
While other activities at Epcot may appeal to people of all ages, this one is strictly for the 21 and up crowd.  The World Showcase offers a glimpse into 11 regions of the world, each offering a variety of alcoholic beverages, in addition to their food choices.  Drinking Around the World is a popular activity where people try to imbibe a drink from each of the countries.  There are different techniques, but most seem to recommend starting in Mexico and continuing clockwise around the World Showcase. I tried it once, but it was pretty hot out and I didn't want to end up miserable so I only tried three drinks.  If you do want to take this on, I recommend pacing yourself and mixing some food in with your beverages.  You don't want to get permanently banned from Disney World for climbing the pyramid in Mexico!


Which park is your favorite? Comment below!


Never Grow Up!
Miranda


Dreams Come True, or How I Became a Travel Agent

Costume from Hollywood & Vine
As some of you may know, I spend a semester of college working at Walt Disney World through the Disney College Program!  I started out working Quick-Service Food & Beverage at Tusker House (way back before it became a table-service restaurant) and ended my program as a DAK Vacation Planner.  In non-Disney speak, I went from working fast food to selling tickets at the front of Disney's Animal Kingdom.  But saying I sold tickets doesn't really cover what my job entailed.  I was the first point of contact for families at the park, many of whom had never been to Walt Disney World before. I was there to introduce families to all that Walt Disney World has to offer and make sure they were getting the right tickets for their needs, whether that meant getting a 5-day base ticket or a 2-day Park Hopper. Sure, I sold tickets, but my real job was getting to know the family in front of me and helping make sure they had a magical vacation!

That was over a decade ago now... wow, I feel old... but I still get the same job from helping others have the right vacation for their family.  For several years, I have helped friends and family plan their Disney vacations for fun (and the occasional beer and chicken wings). However, I felt like something was missing - I could give advice, but I wasn't really helping them plan.  Then came Amanda at Living with the Magic Vacations!  In August 2015, I met Amanda through a Disney College Program Alumni page on Facebook.  After speaking a few times, Amanda offered me the chance to fulfill my dream of becoming a full-blown Travel Agent!  I get so much joy from helping my clients find the right vacation for them.  The pixie dust overflows when clients tell me how amazing their vacation was, knowing I had a part in bringing happiness to the world!

They say if you love your job, you never work a day in your life.  Well, I love this job and the fact that it allows me to share my enthusiasm and knowledge of Disney with fellow fans and newbies, alike. While the hours are strange and the main boss is a bit CHEESY (pun very much intended), I'm happy to have a career that allows me to Never Grow Up!

To my fellow lost boys and lost girls, I hope you never grow up either!
Miranda


Follow the bouncing ball to Amanda's Blog next to read about how she decided to start Living with the Magic Vacations!

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Dates Announced

The days for the 2016 Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party have been announced!

November: 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 18, 27, 29

December: 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16, 18, 22

My Magical 30th Birthday - Animal Kingdom


My days as a Cast Member were spent at Animal Kingdom, for the most part. For that reason, this park will always hold a special place in my heart! However, as much as I don't want it to be, Animal Kingdom usually tends to be a half day park for us. For this trip, we saved it for the last day, when we knew we wouldn't have the energy to spend a full day at a park.

To begin the day (around 10:30), we split up with me riding Expedition Everest and Ken heading to "It's Tough to be a Bug." We then met back up at Flametree BBQ, our favorite quick-service dining option at Animal Kingdom.  We snagged a water-side table with a great view of the progress being made on the new Rivers of Light show, coming next month! We were also joined by a few winged friends for our meal! (Side note: please don't feed the animals - it really is bad for them.)

Our fastpass plan was to do the Kilimanjaro Safari at 12:30 and the Festival of the Lion King at 1:30. However, we finished lunch quickly and noticed the line for Lion King was pretty short so we dropped our 1:30 fastpasses and did the standby line instead.  The Festival of the Lion King is one of my very favorite things! It's a beautiful combination of dancing, singing, acrobatics, and Disney fun. Way back in the day, I was a competitive dancer and dreamed of being a part of this show.  While that didn't quite pan out, I still love the artistry of it. This showing was a bit unique in that one of the main characters, the red bird, was not present.  I found it fascinating how smoothly the other troupe members covered for the absence, so much so that my husband didn't even notice it.  While I definitely missed the romantic pas de deux to Can You Feel the Love Tonight, the show went off without a hitch.

We finished our time at Animal Kingdom with a safari adventure. I love how every ride is different, as the animals interact with their environment.  On this safari, we were able to have a great view of some elephants, including a new baby calf. Every time I ride the Kilimanjaro Safaris, I get to experience something new!  After the safari, we made our way back to the car and headed back to the room to start packing... worst part of vacation!



Read about the rest of my Magical 30th Birthday Here:

My Magical 30th Birthday - Rest Day

For our penultimate day of Disney, we decided to take a full rest day.  We lounged around in the room, watched TV, and just enjoyed each other's company.  Disney World is a really exciting place and I find that going full-speed for too long can get overwhelming, even as a Disney pro.  For dinner, we ordered in pizza from Pop Art Pizza (the delivery pizza service for Pop Century and Art of Animation - cute)! PRO TIP: If you are on the dining plan, do not use your credits for delivery pizza.  Delivery pizza costs 2 adult table service dining credits for a large pizza with two bottled drinks and two desserts or roughly $20-25 out of pocket.  Considering most adult table service meal entitlements value at $30-50 a piece, the delivery pizza isn't a good dining plan credit value. Also, the pizza is convenient, but really wasn't that great.... and I love pizza.

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of rest during a Disney vacation.  It's so easy to get caught up in trying to get your money's worth, but you have to balance doing as much as possible with enjoying as much as possible.  I don't know about your family, but I know my husband and I get grumpy when we don't get enough rest - and we're grown adults!  I see so many kids have complete meltdowns, presumably because they are just so worn out.  Taking an afternoon to go swimming or spending a day lounging around can help give everyone a break to recharge!  In my experience, doing so keeps everyone in a better mood and makes the whole vacation more fun for everyone!

Even those who never grow up need rest!
Miranda


Read about the rest of my Magical 30th Birthday Here:


My Magical 30th Birthday - Disney Springs & Epcot

My family left this morning and Ken and I spent the day relaxing.  We slept in and then decided to check out the updates at Disney Springs. We headed to the AMC's Dine-In Theater for lunch/to see Deadpool. Though not on the dining plan, we really enjoy seeing movies here - the seats are comfortable and the food is pretty good (depending on what you order).  We enjoyed our movie - Deadpool is NOT for kids - and were planning to explore a bit.  However, Ken wasn't feeling great so we decided to go back to the hotel to rest.

After a nap, I set off for a solo adventure at Epcot.   I stopped in Future World to pick up an Egg-Stravaganza Map before making my way back to the countries.  The evening weather was perfect for a leisurely walk around the World Showcase.  I began my journey in Mexico with an avocado margarita at La Cava del Tequila. In all my trips to Disney World, I'd never made it to this unique drink venue and I was excited for the opportunity.  After waiting in line for a few minutes, I ordered at the bar and found a table in the small bar to sit and savor my drink.

Hunami
Frushi
Primavera Kitchen
Pollo alla Parmagiana &
Cremoso al Pistacchio
As I continued to Norway and beyond, I noticed an interesting sense of camaraderie among those hunting for eggs, asking each other for clues and sharing information.  Kids of all ages were playing along - families, groups of friends, and people on their own like me. In between finding eggs, I grabbed a few tasty treats from the Flower & Garden Festival booths.  Of the items I tried, the Cremoso al Pistacchio was my favorite!  The only savory item I got this evening was the Pollo alla Parmagiana, which honestly wasn't that good, in my opinion; it was pretty flavorless and was a bit rubbery in texture.  The people next to me ordered the Mezza Lune Primavera and they said it was very good.


Monika and I
I also got the opportunity to meet one of my Instagram followers for the first time, which was such a neat experience - a friend from a completely different area that I met through a love of Disney!  (If you would like to follow me too, I can be found at Instagram.com/MirandaPlansMagic!)

Cupcake #2
After meeting up with Monika, I headed back to the hotel.  I stopped to pick up dinner for Ken and I at the food court.  Trying to carry full meals, drinks, and cupcakes by myself proved to be too much and I dropped my Mickey cupcake, icing side up.  One of the amazing Cast Members stopped what she was doing to help me clean up, took me to get another cupcake, and then helped me carry everything out to my car.  THAT is what makes Disney different - people that genuinely care!

This day was full of Disney magic - friendships built on a love of Walt's World, foods from around the globe, and true guest service beyond what you expect.  Finding joy in these things is a big part of why I don't want to grow up!


I hope you find joy in your day, as well... and Never Grow Up!
Miranda

Read about the rest of my Magical 30th Birthday Here: